IACP President Mike Caroll: Focus on Officer Safety in 2010

Before the new year began, Chief Mike Carroll, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), sat down with The Crime Report to share his priorities for 2010. Atop Chief Carroll’s list: increase officer safety by reducing the number of fatal law enforcement shootings.

Chief Carroll’s priorities include:
  1. Wear protective vests. According to Chief Carroll, only about 60% of agencies require vests to be worn. Many have vests, but they are not required. “The vests are very thin, they’re not uncomfortable, and they protect you.
  2. Study every segment of an incident to cut down on reaction times of officers.There are things we can do to cut down on that reaction time to give the officer a better chance of surviving. (One) is to study every segment of that incident—not to blame the officer for doing something wrong, but to look for an indicator that the officer didn’t see. You can then train other officers to look for (that indicator), and maybe save a half second or second in reaction time.
  3. Study violence against police more thoroughly and systematically. The IACP and the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety are establishing a Center for Violence against the Police that will gather and analyze comprehensive data on officer assaults and other acts of violence toward officers.
While these measures will help prevent and decrease officer fatalities, Chief Carroll has higher goals. “I don’t celebrate when I hear the news that, compared to 170 officers killed last year, only 140 were killed this year.”